Readers rally round to help struggling families in North East Lincolnshire
THE first crates of kindness from Grimsby Telegraph readers are on their way to needy families as part of our Ten Tonnes Of Tins campaign.
They were received at Telegraph House by organisers of the appeal based at the Christian Action and Resource Enterprise (Care), in Hainton Avenue, Grimsby.
The charity has been giving food parcels to people in North East Lincolnshire for a number of years, but demand has increased due to growing poverty levels and the rising cost of living.
In an average year, the charity distributes about 450 food parcels.
But over the past year and up to the end of next month, the charity estimates more than 1,200 food parcels will be received by households in the borough.
Care gave out 129 hampers in January and so far during February, 115 have been distributed.
From the charity's headquarters, the gifts of food will be distributed to the most needy people in our community.
Since last April, the charity has supported families who have a total of 212 children who might not otherwise get proper meals.
Housing support manager at Care, Stephen Durkin, said the charity was delighted with the response from Telegraph readers.
"Some people have commented questioning whether there is a need and whether the parcels are going to the right people," he said.
"People are making the choice between having the gas on or buying food.
"We all know how much the utilities have gone up. These are people who have had to make that choice.
"We don't want there to have to be a need at all, but it is increasing all of the time."
He told how families receiving parcels can feel embarrassed at the gift of something as basic as food.
It is not a self-referral service; recipients are referred by agencies and medical services.
Mr Durkin added: "Some people believe that the recipients are in their situation because they cannot manage their budgets.
"We say – do you not help people because they can't budget? That is what so much of our work consists of."
Nationally, a senior official at the United Nations has highlighted the increased number of people in the UK forced to rely on food handouts.
Olivier De Schutter said Governments had a responsibility to ensure adequate diets, adding: "The right to an adequate diet is required under the International Covenant On Economic, Social And Cultural Rights."